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Supreme Court to Hear Case on Northwestern Retirement Plan

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The Supreme Court on Friday said that it will hear a case involving retirement plans for employees of Northwestern University.

The ruling, expected next year, will resolve the conflicting outcomes of similar cases involving retirement plans sponsored by big-name universities in the appeals courts, said Jerome Schlichter, whose St. Louis law firm, Schlichter, Bogard & Denton LLP, filed the case against Northwestern in 2016.

Spokespeople for Northwestern didn’t respond to a request for comment.

The U.S. District Court in Chicago dismissed the Northwestern case in 2018, a decision the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Chicago upheld in 2020, Mr. Schlichter said.

In contrast, a similar case against the University of Pennsylvania was initially dismissed by the district court in Philadelphia in 2017, said Mr. Schlichter, whose firm represents the plaintiffs in the case. But that decision was partly reversed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in 2019 and settled for $13 million on Jan. 14, he said.